Twenty two children from Kalipay Negrense Foundation graduated this Academic Year 2017-2018, two from college, four from Senior High School, and 16 from elementary and junior high school.
Jott Err Canillo, JR as we fondly call him, graduated on April 3, 2018 at Carlos Hilado Memorial State College with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology, Major in Food Technology. JR has been with Kalipay Foundation since he was only five years old. Now at 20, JR wants to own his restaurant someday. He underwent training for 1,200 hours at a very prestigious restaurant, Antonio’s in Tagaytay City, owned by Negrense Tony Boy Escalante. Another pride and joy of Kalipay is Joena Belle Porden who graduated at the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Major in Special Education. Joena Belle thanked Kalipay Foundation and its Founder and President Anna Balcells for the support that Kalipay gave her in reaching her dream. Janiza Mahumas, Jessica Mahumas, Joey Abindan, and John Rey Canillada graduated from Senior High School. They studied at different schools in the city, including University of St. La Salle- Liceo, Visayan Maritime Academy, and First Academy of Skills and Training. Meanwhile, 16 children graduated at Bethany Life Center Academy on March 26, 2018, at the Recovered Treasures campus of Kalipay Negrense Foundation in Purok Gabi, Brgy. Busay, Bago City. The graduates were later confirmed by BLCA’s school principal, Ms. Ma. Aurora Belonio. A heartwarming message from Anna Balcells was conveyed to the graduates. A teary-eyed Balcells nevertheless exuded immense happiness as she eflected on seeing each child grow, from little children she once rescued to young teenagers full of high hopes and dreams. The inspiring speech of Balcells was later responded to with gratitude by the top students of Grade Six and Grade 12, respectively. Maricel Escocio, Grade 10 was thankful for the good life Kalipay afforded her. She gained good friends, good experiences, and a good education. But Maricel said that the most important thing she learned in Kalipay is how to be responsible. She feels truly blessed and privileged with Anna Balcells, whom she described as “the reason why I have come this far, and now, I believe that I am loved”, excerpting from Kalipay’s song, You are the Reason. The graduation ceremony was later capped with a simple celebration for the graduates, their families, volunteers, and Kalipay staff.

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